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Mon Jul 24, 2017, 10:27 PM

I'll Admit It. I Voted Third Party Once

The year was 1992. I was in college and full of high ideals. Perot and his numerous charts spoke to me about the things that concerned me at the time: rampant deficit spending coupled with a monstrous national debt. So I voted for Perot. I even put a Perot bumper sticker on my fridge. I was very proud of my contribution to the political dialogue.

Several years later, in graduate school, I had a TAship at UConn, and I led a discussion group once a week. I forget the exact nature of the discussion my students and I were having that week, but one undergrad student became very upset with the rest of the class. He stood up and lectured them on how wrong they were to believe our country was a two party system.

I had a very similar incident last fall when one of my students (who had just turned 18) told me she was very excited to be voting for the first time but had no idea whom to cast her vote for. She was very smart, very serious about voting responsibly, and she had no idea who was the better candidate.

My point is that I am still young enough to remember thinking I could change the world with my vote even if I voted third party. I smile inwardly when a new voter assumes the mantle of "participant in our democracy" with such zeal and so little understanding of how unfair the system truly is. I'm not going to preach educating these people in order to set them straight. I'm not even sure a few months on DU would convince them to vote strategically. I think they will learn about disappointment on their own after another election or two.

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Arrow 13 replies Author Time Post
Reply I'll Admit It. I Voted Third Party Once (Original post)
ProudLib72 Jul 2017 OP
Mme. Defarge Jul 2017 #1
ProudLib72 Jul 2017 #2
Yupster Jul 2017 #3
HAB911 Jul 2017 #5
Blue_Tires Jul 2017 #6
GoCubsGo Jul 2017 #4
Honeycombe8 Jul 2017 #7
crazycatlady Jul 2017 #8
ProudLib72 Jul 2017 #9
Wounded Bear Jul 2017 #10
ProudLib72 Jul 2017 #11
Bradical79 Jul 2017 #12
Floyd R. Turbo Jul 2017 #13

Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 02:52 AM

1. I learned my lesson in 1980

when I voted for John Anderson instead of Jimmy Carter. What we got was Ronald Reagan. That was when I grew up politically, do to speak, and changed my voter registration from Republican to Democrat. Live and learn, n'est ce pas?

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Response to Mme. Defarge (Reply #1)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 03:11 AM

2. Youngsters haven't caught on that idealism gets you people like tRump

There have been a lot of posts since November about how to recruit young voters, but I think that most of us (me included) tend to forget about our first voting experience. They want to make an independent choice, and there is a certain wariness of aligning with a party. Hence, they go "independent" not out of spite but because they feel it is a valid option in expressing their own independence. At least, that is how I felt at the time. Luckily, Clinton won and I didn't have to live with the consequences of my choice. Only later did I realize how badly it could have gone.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 05:41 AM

3. I voted Nader

in 2000.

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Response to Yupster (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 07:57 AM

5. Same here

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Response to Yupster (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 08:10 AM

6. Oh, I was a huge Nader 2000 voter in my dumber days

which is why I felt like Cassandra trying to talk sense to the Bernie or Bust Crowd and the Greens -- Who are inexplicably 10 times dumber than the Greens I used to know back in the day...

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 07:47 AM

4. I have voted thrid party numerous times.

But, never for national offices. I live in a very red district in a very red state. Usually, at least a quarter of the state and local republican candidates unopposed. Frequently, their only opponent is a Libertarian or from some other party. If I run into that situation, I vote for the third party candidate, unless they're neo-nazis or some other racist party. Otherwise, I write in someone.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 08:15 AM

7. People should vote their hearts & ideals....when it doesn't matter so much.

In the primary it's fine. In a normal election, where the Dem is sure to win, anyway (remember those days?), it's fine. It's NOT fine when it's close, and it's a choice of a Dem you don't like and a dangerous Republican like Bush in Bush v Gore. Or Trump v Clinton.

If people want a viable third party, that only happens if people vote third party, if that party represents what they believe.

But there comes a point where reality must enter, and a voter must realize that voting third party makes no difference, except to make it one step clearer that the worse of the two will be elected. To stand firm and vote third party, anyway, does actual HARM to the country AND your ideals. It makes no sense.

But, I voted for Perot, too. He DID have a chance, although a small one. And Bush Sr. was not the danger that Bush Jr and Trump posed. And I did view NAFTA as wrong, which I still believe. NAFTA is partly the reason that Trump is in the W.H. (NAFTA could have been done in a less harmful way, but it wasn't.) AND...voting for Perot wasn't clearly taking from Clinton. Perot was appealing to voters of both major parties. Many think that Perot voters took mainly votes from Bush Sr.

So there are third party votes that clearly take votes from the Dem., like Nader, and there are more independent third party votes, that take from the Repub or both parties.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 09:26 AM

8. I voted GOP once

And i'm ashamed to admit it. I voted for whoever ran against Hillary Clinton for senate in 2000. The only time I ever split my ticket.

I was 20 and stupid.

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Response to crazycatlady (Reply #8)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 12:05 PM

9. How old I was when I voted Perot

I looked it up: Rick Lazio.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 12:16 PM

10. Last time I voted non-Dem for Pres was Nixon '72...

I was in the military and we had just received one of the biggest raises in history.

I don't vote 3rd party in national elections, they never seem to have a very comprehensive platform, and I pride myself in not being a single issue voter.

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Response to Wounded Bear (Reply #10)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 12:27 PM

11. That's really what my admission amounts to

being a single issue voter. It's naive, but when you're young you think if that single issue is sorted out the rest will magically fall into place.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 12:38 PM

12. I probably have for some local position at one time

 

I've even voted for a Republican judge once! She was very nice an extremely passionate about women's rights. Extremely unusual.

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Response to ProudLib72 (Original post)

Tue Jul 25, 2017, 12:44 PM

13. I voted for Pat Paulsen in 68!

My candidate was murdered the previous June.

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